Last week we received an Atla Motors Redshift MX motorcycle to add to our long-term testing fleet. While we will have plenty more to come regarding the electric powered motocross machine, we took the time to discuss future racing plans for the brand with Director of Marketing Jon Bekefy. As many may know Alta has spent the better part of the last year working to get the Redshift competition legal in AMA Professional motocross and Supercross, and it sounds like they are a few key steps closer to the final approval.
The biggest question we’ve heard since this bike came out is, “How and when will they race it?” That’s still a work in progress right now but where is Alta at in the process?
It’s definitely a work in progress. We have been meeting with the AMA and their Technical Director, Kevin Crowther, on the rules package and technical transfer of information so that they understand the program to prevent cheating as well as the software and horsepower, and the homologation. Feld has said that once the homologation is approved on the AMA’s technical side that they will allow us to race. I have high hopes that we can have it done in time for this fall or winter, but the reality is to be ready for 2018.
We have some teams in Arenacross that have talked to us and want to run the bikes, and we will do EnduroCross this fall. We have a rider for the pro class this year and other prospects for 2018. I think we will have one more year with the events and races that will let us in, and that will get everything in order for 2018.
There is a big difference in testing a consumer bike and a race bike, which it seems like what you are starting to do. What has been the biggest difference and similarities between the two?
Race product testing began a few months before Red Bull Straight Rhythm and it’s definitely in its infancy compared to our competitors. The package now with the battery, drivetrain, and chassis hasn’t changed from the consumer product to the works product, but the big change is the suspension and working with WP so that we have better than off the shelf product, and working on durability testing with titanium parts that can help the bike shed weight. And most importantly we’re tweaking the firmware and maps. It’s a three-part package with the suspension, maps, and drive so that we can have long runtime with enough bottom-end hit and drive, along with the suspension.
Would the plan be to race the 250 West Coast SX series and have a base of operations in Southern California?
It’s interesting because we’ve had a few teams that receive C and B level support from other OEMs reach out to us and want to start testing on our bikes. After Straight Rhythm, we got calls from teams saying, “We got beat by your bike. Can we ride one and understand them?” Ideally, it would be a team that already has the infrastructure and program together, and then we drop them some bikes, equipment, and knowledge to help them run. We are too small right now with our manpower to absorb a factory team, it would be too hard for us in the next six to twelve months. Hopefully, we find a team and come out to run the West Coast.